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October 28th, 2019:

Today is the last day you can post your vote to UCU

Today is the last day you can post your votes in either of UCU’s higher education ballots and be sure they will arrive by the Wednesday 30 October deadline.

Tens of thousands of votes have already been cast, but we can’t stop there. Every branch needs at least 50% of its members to vote in order to be able to join any industrial action.

The 50% threshold is not something we have chosen. Nor is the requirement to vote by post. Both are requirements imposed on us by trade union legislation. The higher the overall turnout and the higher the number of branches over the threshold, the more pressure we can put on our employers to negotiate properly with us.

We are campaigning for a fairer higher education sector. Bit by bit, we can get there – but only if you take the first step and cast your vote.

The ballot results will be announced later this week, and the elected reps on UCU’s higher education committee (HEC) will meet on Friday to discuss the results and consider our next steps. Please watch this space for further updates.

Jo Grady
UCU general secretary

Powering Up not Running Out – CCCU, FAH and ‘STEAM’

The FAH REVIEW and Our University must not become bogged down in a degradation and fragmentation of ideas, values  and judgement based on ‘cost-siloing’ and false economics (the micro-management and leadership of FAH by fabricated politically driven cost analysis and ever ‘deeper dives’ into financial data alone).

The answer is NOT cutting modules that do not reach artificial profit levels leading to ongoing and related disastrous cutting of programmes, then jobs, then opportunities for students, then support for our communities and resulting in our collective impoverishment.

Education is profit.  

The University and SMT and their (and our values) must be involved in all Reviews.

For example  if there is a decline in recruitment in FAH to what extent is the University’s performance responsible ?

Investment is a big issue. It is occurring at CCCU but not everywhere. What are the University’s objectives what are its current cost burdens and investments and how do these reflect values ?

Engineering and Medicine are being invested in at CCCU.  The Arts and Humanities remain vital and the choice of investment in them is central to the FAH review.

STEM represents science, technology, engineering and maths. “STEAM” represents STEM plus the arts – humanities, language arts, dance, drama, music, visual arts, design, media and new media.

THE FAH REVIEW NEEDS TO INCLUDE REPRESENTATIVES OF THOSE AREAS THE UNIVERSITY IS INVESTING IN.

REPRESENTATIVES of ENGINEERING AND MEDICINE SHOULD BE PRESENT AT FAH REVIEW AND A CONVERSATION WITH FAH STAFF FROM ACROSS THESE AREAS IS NEEDED.

IT MUST START NOW.

Leonardo Da Vinci is an early examples of someone using STEAM to make discoveries.Wikimedia Commons

The main difference between STEM and STEAM is STEM explicitly focuses on scientific concepts. STEAM investigates the same concepts, but does this through inquiry and problem-based learning methods used in the creative process the arts and humanities.

Why is STEAM important?

STEAM education provides students with the opportunity to learn creatively, using 21st century skills such as problem solving, visual communication, cultural awareness, multiple intelligences and multiple traditions of knowledge  .

See  how University of Kent has made the link:

https://blogs.kent.ac.uk/discover-stem/2019/07/02/open-days-at-kent/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=19_oct

Read the Independent on Steam

https://www.independent.co.uk/student/student-life/Studies/stem-vs-steam-how-the-sciences-and-arts-are-coming-together-to-drive-innovation-a7047936.html

Bryan Hawkins Chair UCU CCCU